UX Australia 2013

Design at the edges: Mobile UX in the developing world

Gabriel White

Imagine spending one month’s income on your next mobile phone. Or having to courier it to another town to recharge the battery. Or not being able to read what is written on its screen. These are everyday realities for people living in poor, developing countries. But mobile usage is exploding throughout the developing world. How should you think differently about design in this context? What does it mean to create appropriate design?

This presentation will explore the challenges and approaches to designing for mobile in developing countries, and will use case studies to help bring these insights to life:

  • Bridge International Academies is building hundreds of schools throughout the slums of Kenya that cost $5 per month to attend, and wanted to use technology help the schools run better. But how do you design a complete enterprise management system to run on a $50 phone?
  • Refugees United uses mobile technology to help bring together families separated by war and natural disasters. But how do you design a mobile online networking platform for people who have only occasional access to a shared mobile phone?
  • Motorola wanted to create a phone for poor illiterate people. How do design a handset user interface so that people who cannot read are able to use it?


Download: Design at the edges: Mobile UX in the developing world (mp3 audio file)


Design at the Edges - UX Design for Developing Countries from Gabriel White


Design at the edges - Gabriel White